chapter  2
14 Pages

Some of the Factors that Contributed to China’s Awakening

The ancient Chinese philosopher Lao Tsu (570-490 B.C.) once said that “the journey of a thousand miles begins with a step.” Similarly, the journey that saw China’s emergence via reforms and the opening up of its economy began with one step. It started when Deng Xiaoping allowed peasants to lease land and sell their harvest in markets without any fear of reprisals from the central government or the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Since taking those wobbly steps, the country has not looked back. The reforms and opening up have been gradual and at China’s pace, but they have had a profound impact on the Chinese people and the world. As Deng Xiaoping once remarked, Mozhe shitouguo he, “we must cross the river by stepping on the stones” (Xiaoping, 1984). Deng’s view was that China cannot afford not to open up but it must not rush the opening-up process for fear of unforeseen circumstances. Today, China has emerged as an economic as well as a political powerhouse on the global stage.